Sassea Sails



December 2017

Take It In

“Take it all in, it’s as big as it seems, count all your blessings and remember your dreams…” -Jimmy Buffet

This quote was e-mailed to me from my new friend and author, Laura Carter, in Navajo Ranch, Colorado.    It is  apropos because for 69 years I lived at sea level.  Now, I am living in a cozy cabin at 7000 feet above sea level. Though the air is thinner, out the window is a fourteener begging to be climbed.




While reading a book by local author Laura Lee Carter,  I was awed by her conviction that not raising children was a good decision. For me, remaining motherless made sense. Although I am not certain of Laura’s reasoning, mine was simple. What would I do with an infant? How could I go to work? What would I do if my baby cried or got hurt?

In my late twenties as I entered a career in education I became intrigued with the ability and love parents had for fostering a ‘better life’ for their children. How in the world they maintained a full time position, got the kids to school on time, made their lunches, prepared dinner, took them for medical care, paid for boy scouts or piano lessons? When did the parents get to play?  And my sister, how did she find a man to love, marry and provide the financial support for them to raise four children? I couldn’t seem to figure it out.

In my thirties, I met a gal who was passionate about sailing and being a mom. I can remember thinking and sometimes admonishing her for wanting to bring her baby along on sailing events. “I can’t concentrate on racing during the day and resting at night with your 3-year-old hanging out with us.”

In my forties, my husband and I were settled into a routine. After twenty years of steady income we could afford to have a child. Well, it never happened for reasons that I may explore in future blogs.

By fifty and surely by sixty my remark when asked if I had any kids was a simple quip, “I used to be too young, now I am too old.”

Reaching 70, do I regret it? No, I lived a good life and like everyone I ever met and many I never will meet, I made the best decisions with the knowledge and beliefs I held at the time.

Standing Waves

fullsizeoutput_2bfbViewing the Spanish Peaks Mountain Range, from our loft window,  there was relief knowing I am not as far from sailing the great oceans of our world as I once feared. The old downhill ski resort clearly shows the trails of a once thriving playground for winter sports.   From about 15 miles away the scenery is a reminder of how I connected sailing and surfing to skiing during my two years on the slopes of New Hampshire.  The drudgingly slow and breathtaking steps when hiking up a mountain has some semblance to sailing upwind in a stiff blow when it is 2 am and all you really want to do is  climb into your bunk. To get that extra 1/4 knot of speed you crank the winch. Your inner voice repeats a common refrain, “just keep moving, slowly and steadily, you are almost there.” 

Unlike the rise and fall of the ocean’s swell the mountains are solidly held in place or so it may seem. The earth is in constant motion. It perpetually  spins on its own axis while traveling around the sun causing winds, currents and temperatures to change. Inevitably this results in the evolving landscapes around the world. An earthquake is an example of how pressure from deep beneath the earth’s surface creates one of the most wondrous and destructive forces, illustrating the ever-changing motion of mother earth. 

In this manner, it can be argued that those majestic snow-capped mountains seen outside my upstairs windows, are not static. Rather, due the the earth’s vibrations,  they can be considered standing waves whose movement can only be detected by a sophisticated seismograph. In contrast,  sailors and surfers expect a wave to continue its path. Without warning about the second the wave is expected to crest, it seems to pause, leaving the boat or surfer hovering in curious wonderment before the wave returns to its destined crash  into a thunderous roar.  

Do the waves actually stop moving? Do the mountains really move? Or, do I just need to rationalize my new lifestyle 2000 miles away from the ocean’s door?

Getting Closer

Mile by mile, interstate by highway, town by town and city by city, is how we planned to explore northern New Mexico, Arizona,  and southern Colorado and Utah.  It was to be a pleasure trip with an eye out  for possible places to live.  Would you believe we chose the first house we noted had a ‘for sale’ sign posted in the driveway?  Rather than keep looking we scurried  to buy this love at first site 4 acre wooded lot with a cozy cabin like house on Buffalo Road.  Purchasing our first home together was an iterative process for which we made a plan.


We transferred money from one bank to another then wrote an acceptable check to the realtor for the agreed amount of earnest money.  Ron and a local builder surveyed the structure of the house. They climbed up onto the roof then, they crept on their bellies in the crawl space under the house.  All the while I romped throughout the rooms and loft.  I peeked in the closets, cabinets and drawers.

Together Ron and I drove back to Everglades City.  He bought and installed window shades for the porch. He painted the porch, downstairs and staircase. I vacuumed, vacuumed, then vacuumed some more. We both packed,  packed, then packed some more.

I sold my Windrider 17,  my cute VW Beetle Convertible and a Fortress x7 anchor.  I purchased a 2018 blue Subaru Crosstrek.  I  rented a 5 x 8 ft uhaul trailer and  Ron rented a 6 x 12 uhaul trailer. We loaded both trailers. Ron left. About four hours later, after getting my dental work completed, I left.  Ron arrived at his brother Jack and sister-in-law Amy’s house in the afternoon. I spent the night at Linda and Mike’s then drove to Jack and Amy’s in the morning.

We had a traditional breakfast with ham, eggs, potatoes and grits at the local Waffle House. It was fun  visiting with Jack n Amy, Lauren, Kristen and Joan n Laddie. The next day we all attended the wedding of Jack and Amy’s son which honored the legal and pastoral blessing of two young adults, Kelsie and Dante.  The ceremony also symbolized the new life Ron and I are embarking on without the legal entanglements of a marriage license or religious involvement. Despite these differences, both the young couple and us oldsters,  have committed to love and cherish each other til death due them part.

Now after two days of driving, from Jacksonville to Little Rock, Ron and I already slithered into our sleeping bags. It isn’t even 6:45 pm. Yet, giggly as newlyweds, with our cherished good-night kiss we vowed to get on the road as early as 5 am. Being as we are half way to Walsenburg, why twaddle?. We are on a mission to cross the threshold of our new lifestyle.

Cheers and good wishes to all, , ,

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

With the passing of one life’s chapter and onto a chilling new one, the dilemma of which subscriptions to keep and which ones to let drift off is haunting. It is like saying goodbye to friends. Keeping them takes time. How many newsletters can I read each month?

My commitment to make use of the anticipated days, weeks and hours spent indoors in front of the wood burning stove or up in the loft contemplating the stillness of a fourteen thousand foot high mountain peak needs to be honored. If I am going to devote 4 – 6 hours a day writing I have to be more selective in choosing what to read.

Reading about my life’s passions is inspiring. It is a double edge sword. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to stay active while garnering insights. Yet, I want to avoid distractions. With ADHD comes the constant interruption. There is a movie about a dog who perpetually chases squirrels. Squirrels have become my token to remind me to stay put. In fact I bought a little ceramic squirrel for my herb garden. It was easy to decide to take him from the hot, humid swamp land to the frigid below freezing temperatures where he will reside at 7000 feet above sea level. Maybe he will perch himself on the windowsill where the view of Spanish Peaks beckons me to climb.

Back to subscriptions, it is with sadness that I bid my membership with the East Coast Sailing Association Adieu. I already cancelled my membership with the Melbourne Yacht Club last year. Recently, I resigned from the Board of Directors with the Museum of the Everglades.

Thankfully the internet allows connection with these three groups. Although I won’t get the privileged membership benefits, it is consoling to know that even when one unsubscribes, they can still stay up to date.



Money Isn’t the Problem

Newer cars that use a key fob present a challenge. When your key and fob are misplaced the dealer will charge about $300 to replace it. With no choice but to pay the fee it becomes an unfortunate expense that hurts. Then, the dealer adds the proverbial salt on the wound. The vehicle must be transported to the dealer. Even with free road side assistance, the ordeal becomes a serious dilemma when the key fob is misplaced on a week-end.

When my key turned up missing early on a Saturday morning. I was annoyed. Later in the day I planned to meet with a dear friend whom I haven’t seen in several years and who I might not see again for more years to come. Finding the key fob became stressful after an hour of searching. I was visiting with another friend who had to go to work so for a while I was alone retracing every step I had taken from my last remembrance of holding the key.

Another hour went by when another helpful soul aided in the search. We shuffled our feet in the grass, got on our bellies to look under the car with the missing key and another car parked in the same driveway. Despite my 100 % recollection of returning from a beach walk when I last saw the key fob. Four hours of searching in and around the car where I swore I last saw the fob on the back bumper where I placed it while putting items in the rear section of my week old Subaru Crosstrek began to take its toll.

Still, I decided to walk back to the beach. Maybe I was confused. After all I began my beach walk at first light when the dawn is breaking. Now it was nearing noon. The sun was overhead with barely a cloud in the sky. Every gleam in the grass, every shine in the sand became a ray of hope. Another hour went by. No fob.

By five o’clock in the afternoon I was resigned to ordering a replacement fob and the prospect of calling roadside assistance to tow my car to the dealer on Tuesday. What P____ me off was I would be stranded all day Sunday and Monday without being able to combine the business and pleasure which brought about this mini vacation. The thought of getting my new blue Crosstrek towed would be embarrassing.

Sleep would not come easy. Medatating to calm myself was futile. My appetite deserted me. With the help of a low dose of benadryl I drifted off to sleep. It was a deep sleep. Though I woke up at my usual 5:30 am I felt rested with a renewed sense of hope. Before anyone else in the house was roused my plan was made.

Uber would get me to the airport where I would rent a car allowing me to drive the 250 miles back to my house where two spare keys were sitting atop of my jewelry box. Nearing home I sent a message to my beau telling him I would be home shortly because I needed to get a spare key. It was one of those situations a kid finds themselves in when caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

About ten miles from putting my hands on the spares, my phone rang. My misplaced key  fob was found. My mind started to race as I cancelled the cruise control that held me at 70 mph for the past 3 1/2 hours. Bouncing to a stop as I crossed onto the shoulder of the road I could feel sweat on my brow. Not wanting to admit my carelessness conflicted with my conviction to tell the truth. So, admittedly I made up a little white lie. Kind of a reverse embellishment. Patiently and deliberately I typed each letter of a follow up letter with benevolence promising myself that at some time in the future I would tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. No one was being hurt by message. I just felt a need to save face. After all missing the opportunity to visit long time friends because I had spent one day searching for the misplaced key and another day driving for eight hours straight, save one stop for fuel. Like the cost of the fob, the cost of the fuel and car rental was inconsequential. It was the precious time lost. Time that cannot be replaced. Time, that precious commodity that I was abusing due to my carelessness was priceless. The disappointment of not spending time with people who have been such a good influence on my life has been the saddest consequence.

Soon I will be moving half way across the country. Tomorrow I am cramming a few more visits sandwiched between getting the paperwork and money transferred to close on a new house is nervously anticipated. Between the emotion of saying good-byes with the excitement of securing the bond between my beau and I with the joint ownership of a house that is destined to be our home. A cozy cabin like salt box far from the ocean we have spent our adult lives savoring awaits us between the New Mexico desert and the eastern forefront of the Rocky Mountains.

Ay, the breathtaking view of Spanish Peaks, the forested four acres  surrounding our house, and the romance of creating another chapter in our lives aboard the s/v Coupleship, on the hard,,,, MMMM, just switching my thoughts to the future displaced all the drama and stress of the lost fob…..


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